A landmark $10-million gift from Vancouver-based TECK COMINCO LTD. to the ROYAL ONTARIO MUSEUM (ROM) in Toronto, announced on Jan.18, will establish the Teck Cominco Suite of Earth Sciences Galleries, the Teck Cominco Endowed Chair in Mineralogy and the Teck Cominco Digital Education Module in Earth Sciences, as well as create a new home for the CANADIAN MINING HALL OF FAME at the museum.
This is the largest corporate gift ever received by the ROM, and will form part of its Renaissance project. Three unique galleries will be built within the Teck Cominco Suite: the Inco Limited Gallery of Minerals and Gems, the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame Gallery and the Gallery of Gold and Gems. This will double the volume of ROM minerals and gems on display and open up avenues for education. The future Teck Cominco Suite, scheduled to open in the Weston Family Wing in 2008, is expected to be a major destination within the museum.
The Endowed Chair in Mineralogy will establish a permanent new curatorial position dedicated to guiding future exhibitions, ensuring that educational content is constantly refreshed, and leading earth sciences research and acquisitions.
The Digital Education Module in Earth Sciences will comprise electronic 3D scans of the most dramatic specimens from the ROM collection. In the 32-seat ROM Digital Gallery students will use state-of-the-art technology to closely observe and manipulate priceless pieces at electronic workstations, allowing a virtual “hands-on” experience with these rare and valuable specimens.
When it moves from the University of Toronto’s Mining Building to its new home, the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame will be in a much better position to educate the visiting public on the contribution of mining to society. Inductees will be showcased on a fully bilingual, 5-m by 2-m interactive touch screen. Exhibits will spotlight mining’s role in Canadian history, while also acknowledging today’s modern, high tech, minerals industry. The Hall will eventually be able to establish satellite video units at other locations in Canada.
The new galleries will be part of the final phase of the Renaissance ROM renovation and expansion project, in which ten galleries will be created in the historic wings of the museum after completion of the new Michael Lee-Chin Crystal wing, designed by Daniel Libeskind. The project has already received $250-million in donations. Now under construction, the Lee-Chin Crystal will celebrate its public architectural opening and building dedication on June 2, 2007. The new ROM is expected to draw 1.6 million visitors annually. Details are available at www.rom.on.ca/renaissance.
Also last week, Teck Cominco announced support for another Ontario tourist destination. The company presented a gift of $300,000 to the Historic Cobalt Corporation in support the development of the Historic Cobalt Mining Camp, a hallmark Canadian heritage site that will bring additional tourism and modern economic development to the Town of Cobalt and the Township of Coleman.
The gift funds a new mining themed playground to be called Teck Cominco Prospect Park and the Keevil Walking Trail, a heritage walking path that circles Cobalt Lake. Both will open in the fall of 2007.
“The park, playground and walking trail will provide a variety of opportunities for families to learn about Cobalt’s history and the important contributions of mining to communities while enjoying the outdoors,” said Don Lindsay president and CEO of Teck Cominco.
One company that got its start in Cobalt was SILVERFIELDS MINING CORPORATION, founded by Dr. Norman Keevil Sr. in 1962 on sixty acres in Cobalt. That company has evolved into the present-day Teck Cominco.